Goal of relationship is to assist and guide veterans and military families affected by toxic water exposure at Camp LeJeune
WASHINGTON, Nov. 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is announcing an agreement in which it is entrusting the experienced environmental litigation team at the law firm of Baird Mandalas Brockstedt Federico & Cardea (BMBFC Law) with guiding and assisting its members in navigating legal claims related to exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune.
The VFW continues to encourage its members and supporters to consult with a VFW-Accredited Service Officer to determine whether filing a lawsuit is the right step for them. This includes determining how the offset required by the law impacts their VA benefits and any possible award from a Camp Lejeune Justice Act claim.
"Ensuring veterans harmed in the line of duty are made whole has been a guiding principle for the VFW since our founding more than 123 years ago," said VFW National Commander Tim Borland. "We are honored to entrust BMBFC with this vital mission to ensure veterans and their families who benefit from filing a lawsuit are represented by a team with relevant expertise and veterans' best interest at heart."
In August, the VFW-championed SFC Health Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022 was signed into law. Along with the most significant expansion of health care and benefits in more than a century, Section 804 of the PACT Act, known as the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, authorizes veterans and military families who were exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune from August 1953 to December 1987 to file a federal tort claim for harm caused by such exposure.
"Since the PACT Act added another recourse for veterans and their families suffering the effects of toxic exposure at Camp Lejeune, getting the right legal advice is crucial," added Borland. "That's why, given their deep experience in obtaining justice for communities affected by groundwater contamination and leadership role in this litigation, we turned to the team at BMBFC Law to provide the best counsel possible for those with claims related to Camp Lejeune."
The VFW cautions its members and supporters to avoid predatory law firms advertising endlessly on television and other media. To assist those who wish to join the Camp Lejeune Justice Act lawsuit determine if a law firm has their best interest at heart, the VFW has established six guiding principles. BMBFC Law has emphatically agreed to (1) cap attorney fees at a reasonable rate, (2) no upfront costs, (3) work with the VFW to ensure veterans explore their earned Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits, (4) counsel claimants on the impact of the offset included in the Camp Lejeune Justice Act before accepting an award, (5) encourage VFW membership to eligible veterans, and (6) provide resources to support the VFW Service Officer Program.
"Veterans and their families harmed by the toxic water at Camp Lejeune deserve representation from attorneys experienced in groundwater contamination litigation and fundamentally committed to representing their best interests," said Iraq War veteran, Purple Heart recipient, and Chair of BMBFC Law's Military Advisory Board, Jason E. Johns. "As a past State Commander for the VFW Department of Wisconsin and a longtime VA-accredited attorney, I've chosen to partner with BMBFC Law because this prestigious group of attorneys with proven success in matters regarding toxic water shares my dedication to doing right by my brothers and sisters who have served our country, and as importantly, their families who supported them while they did."
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act contains broad offset language and to date, there are differing opinions on the meaning of that language. The VA is expected to release regulations related to this in the coming months.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act potentially offers historic benefits to veterans and their families. However, these benefits need to be carefully evaluated by a firm that understands VA disability benefits. The VFW encourages anyone who served or lived at Camp Lejeune from Aug. 1, 1953, to Dec. 31, 1987, to visit camplejeunegroundwater.com/vfw or call (443) 665-0375.
SOURCE Baird Mandalas Brockstedt Federico & Cardea, LLC
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